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Opinion

Some people REALLY don’t want this Newcastle United takeover to go through

4 months ago
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The Newcastle United takeover dominates all of our (football) thoughts.

Supporters waiting ‘patiently’ for news to come through, confirmation of the deal completed.

However, my word, some people really don’t want this takeover of Newcastle United to go through do they? No, I mean REALLY don’t want it to go through.

Now before I start let me be clear.

My interest in football has slowly waned over the years and you can put this down to numerous things, all of which are money related. The price of match tickets is high but if people have the money, they will pay the fees, travel, food, beer and all. And I’m in full admiration for their dedication. I personally can’t go all the time but recently my abstinence has been by choice because of the owner and nothing more.

The main reason (other than Mike Ashley…) for me and many others switching off from football, is the fact that many of the players you are watching have a weekly take home pay of more than most people earn in a year. Just run that by yourselves. It’s highly likely that one of those players you’re watching is banking a minimum of £40k a week. In the current climate of (fully welcomed and justified) support for the NHS and other emergency services, it’s quite galling that sportsmen can pick up such astronomical pay packets.

Then there’s the question of where the real money lies.

Not just anyone can rise up and compete within the Premier League and become a force without serious money. Our previous owner Sir John Hall once said towards the end of his reign, that the game isn’t for millionaires anymore and he was half right, as it isn’t even for billionaires these days. For example, the Reuben Brothers are a part of the group looking to take over Newcastle United and are reported to be worth close to £20billion and Saudi Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is said to be personally worth around £7billion, while the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is estimated at an eye watering £250billion. Telephone numbers to you and me but wouldn’t it be great if some of that wealth was ploughed into Newcastle United and the region as a whole?

Of course it would and indeed the Reuben brothers have done so already with regards to the local area. So why does everyone seem to not want this takeover to happen and why do many people hate Newcastle United and in particular the club’s fans? It’s not our fault. We would only be embracing what Chelsea and Manchester City did with the league long ago. Put simply, regardless of them winning anything or not, they bought success. That is undeniable fact.

Why do so many pundits and presenters despise our club and its supporters, with the likes of Richard Keys and Andy Gray being particularly vocal in their condemnation of the proposed takeover? This is a pair let’s not forget, that were rightly hounded out of the UK and could only pick up a job no doubt on high wages in a country (Qatar) with similar questionable human rights records as those they preach about with Saudi Arabia. And let us not start on the validity of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid.

The state of football in 2020 is morally sickening. The ‘Beautiful Game’ it certainly is not and hasn’t been since Sky Sports stuck their oar in back in 1992. Since then everything changed and money rules the roost. Until that bubble bursts, I’d expect more issues like our current predicament to rear up and cause problems. But I never thought I’d see a situation arise where those wealthy people would have to buy the RIGHT club to be accepted.

The figures aren’t even worth arguing about. When the wage of a footballer is so far out of the working man’s reach, it’s hardly worth considering the finances behind who owns a football club. It’s why the game has long gone. But I digress.

Nobody outside of Newcastle wants this takeover to go ahead and the human rights and piracy issues are VERY convenient for their argument. If the consternation over the takeover was down to human rights, then the United Arab Emirates link with Manchester City would have to come under scrutiny, as would Sheffield United and their own Saudi Prince.

Instead of criticism and derision, people up and down the land have lauded the wonderful football that the team from Manchester have served up over recent years and rightly praised the fabulous efforts Sheffield United have made in their first season back in the premier league. Why? They should be hounded out of the game if our treatment is anything to go by. And we haven’t even been taken over yet at the time of writing.

So what about us? Why are we being pulled from pillar to post and told that this Newcastle United takeover can’t be allowed to happen? Piracy you say? I’m not convinced.

As it stands, the regular man in the street has to pay high subscription charges to watch football matches via Sky or BT Sports and you can’t just pay for one as you’ll miss quite a few matches if you do. You also can’t watch the traditional Saturday 3 o’clock kick off if you are in the UK but perplexingly, if you are abroad you can. The national game (and the team you support) can’t be enjoyed on a weekend but people overseas with little or no emotional attachment can? Scandalous. The Premier league can talk about maintaining the integrity of the English game but they’ve long since sold out that right to worldwide TV companies. I can’t believe that piracy is the issue with the PIF takeover of Newcastle United.

Despite all this, my interest in the game remains for now. I can sit through the most mind numbingly boring match and be quite content for two hours. Even a big match that has no effect on what happens with Newcastle can be a great stress reliever. With nothing riding on the result, no feelings on who wins.

However, back to the situation in hand. The takeover I’m sure will be ratified and we can get on with seeing how far we can go with ambitious owners, a nice change after being taken for a grim and mind numbing ride for the last 13 years under Mike Ashley.

It’s a classic case of ‘If you can’t beat them, join them.’ If Ashley can’t (or won’t) compete, then I genuinely don’t care who he sells to as long as Newcastle United achieve their potential. If the Premier League or even the UK Government don’t care who owns which club, why should the average supporter? Fans are so far detached from the game in the modern era anyway and as I’ve said, until the money bubble bursts, which shows little sign of doing so, the common man should just ride the wave and celebrate whenever his team is presented with an opportunity to compete and succeed.

So we can rule out the takeover being scotched over human rights and the issue of TV piracy is fairly flimsy and easy to eliminate and get through, so where’s the problem? Why is it that so many people are passing messages to the relevant governing bodies and flapping their gums in public? What about the clubs that have allegedly objected to it? I don’t buy that last one for a minute but something is afoot when so many people are up in arms.

On thing is for sure, IF this Newcastle United takeover IS blocked, then we will know one thing for sure. That too many people didn’t want it to happen, not for any reason other than too many clubs and broadcasters don’t want any other club upsetting the applecart. Are we really despised that much? And why?

That would be a situation that would finish me following football altogether.

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